Obaseki Launches Digital Museum With World’s Largest Online Repository Of Benin Artefacts

A file photo of Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki.

 

The Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, has described the recently launched Digital Benin website as a platform with the largest digital collections of Benin artefact.

Obaseki said this during the launch of Digital Benin, which is part of the events marking Alaghodaro 2022 Summit, at the Sir Victor Uwaifo Creative Hub, Airport Road, in Benin City, Edo State.


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“We suggested having a catalog of all Benin artwork scattered around the world a while back. Today, I am so glad and fulfilled that five years on, we now have the digital records of 5,246 pieces of Benin and Edo artworks in 131 locations across the globe. This is a feat to be proud of.

“Digital Benin is now the largest Museum in the world for Benin collections. It’s a virtual Museum which will tell you anything you need to know about Benin history and future. Go to the website and every piece of Benin artwork located anywhere in the world can be seen. You can see the artworks, the meaning and the locations.

“This is a significant milestone we have achieved. This project is very significant to the people of the kingdom. We thank Prof. Gregory Akenzua and members of the Benin Dialog Group who, over the last two decades, have kept on the pressure and the dialogue on how to restitute and return the artworks taken away after the invasion of 1897.

“I met the Benin Dialog Group having this debate and discussion for the last 18 years and later joined them to ensure we achieve the aims of the group. We joined the group in 2017, and in 2018, we went outside the country to join the conversation and address the issues confronting the return of the art work.

“The invasion of the Kingdom destroyed our history which was unbroken for 1,000 years. It suddenly got broken and it’s taken us over a century to begin to understand our place in the world. For more than 100 years, our artworks have been with strangers who do not understand the import, significance and importance of these works.

“These works serve as our ambassador all over the world and the concern for us is ownership, as these are our properties taken from us, at least let it be returned so that we will have a legal title.

“This success is all about collaboration and the achievement gladdens our heart. I appreciate our European partners who have been really understanding, particularly the German, French and the Italian governments. The future is about technology and the Digital Benin rests on a technology platform.”

The governor said the state government is ready to continue to work with partners for continuation and sustainability of the Digital Benin website, noting: “We have designed a new cultural district for Edo State. Edo and Benin City is the natural cultural capital of West Africa. Within this cultural district, we would have a minimum of three museums and we already have one which will be upgraded while two others (The Benin Royal Museum and EMOWAA).

“The cultural district which is going to be sited on over 10,000 hectares of land will have other facilities like hotels, spaces for offices, center for young artists, among others. I want to acknowledge a young Edo personality, Tracy Eboigbodin, who won a master-chef competition in Italy, making Edo and Nigeria proud for her achievement in Europe.”

Delivering his welcome address, Commissioner for Arts, Culture, Tourism and Diaspora Affairs, Hon. Prince Bamidele Obaitan, thanked the Governor of Edo State, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, for his visionary leadership style.

He noted that the occasion of the launch of Digital Benin provides an opportunity to share with the people the remarkable progress made by the administration of Governor Obaseki in the arts and culture space.

“This project is a platform for people to know more about the rich cultural heritage of the Benin people and its artifacts scattered around the world.”

Okpekpe Road Race Set For May 2023

East Africans Sweep Okpekpe Road Race

 

The ninth edition of the Okpekpe International 10km Road Race, the first road running event to be granted a label status by World Athletics in West Africa, is set to hold on Saturday May 27, 2023 in Okpekpe town near Auchi, Edo State.

According to World Athletics, the race would be one of the 40 gold-label road running events to hold in 2023 and the second gold-label 10km road race to hold next year after the TCS World 10K Bengaluru in Bengaluru, India, which holds on May 7, 2023.

As the only label road race to hold on May 27, the small agrarian community of Okpekpe in Estako East Local Government of Edo State is expected to enjoy international attention as a world-class event.

Race organiser, Mike Itemuagbor expressed delight that the race had continued to lead the way in the West African sub-region, becoming one of three races in Africa to be granted a gold label rating in 2023.

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The first gold label road race in Africa and the continent’s first World full Marathon major is the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon in South Africa.

“We have done all the documentations required and we are delighted that World Athletics has confirmed the date we set for the race,” Itemuagbor said.

Itemuagbor thanked the Edo State Government, particularly His Excellency, Governor Godwin Obaseki and his sportsman deputy Comrade Philip Shaibu, for the support and the enabling environment for the race to attain the enviable heights it has reached and the many historic feats it has achieved.

“Our appreciation also goes to the athletes, officiating officials, medical personnel, our sponsors and indeed the good and great people of Okpekpe and the entire Etsako East local government who have all contributed greatly and significantly to the historic heights the race has reached since we started in 2013.

“Without you, there would have been no Okpekpe race. You made the race the number one road running event in Nigeria and with you, we can aspire to become the first platinum race not only in Nigeria but Africa,” Itemuagbor said.

Apart from being the first road race in West Africa with a label status and AIMS recognition, Okpekpe Race has paved the way for others in the sub-region, particularly in Nigeria, to aspire for international recognition.

Itemuagbor assured enthusiasts that the race would continue to be a reference point for road running in Nigeria.

“We are already advanced in our preparations for the race and we shall organise a gold label race with all the trappings of a platinum label event,” he said.

CBN’s Naira Redesign Plan Purely Political, Has No Basis In Economics – Obaseki

 

Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State has faulted the move to redesign the naira, claiming it has no economic basis and purely political plan.

He said this while inaugurating the Edo State Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Women Campaign Council at the Presidential Campaign Secretariat in Benin City, the Edo State capital, on Wednesday.

“They say we should all bring our naira and give it to them because they want to change it for us. Is that our priority now? How does changing of currency reduce the price of food in the market? They say they want to change our currency and dollars are going higher every day. We can’t even see dollars again,” the governor added.

“I am an economist and I can tell you categorically that this policy by the CBN and Federal Government has no basis in economics. There is no reason to do this; this is purely political.”

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Obaseki reiterated that there is no urgency to redesign the currency, claiming the country has other important things to pay attention to.

“The urgency for us is how to get food for our citizens to remove starvation and hunger from the land. The urgency is on how to maintain discipline in our monetary policy so that we can manage our foreign exchange rate because we are import-dependent,” the governor noted.

He claimed that the country will continue to fail if the All Progressives Congress (APC) wins next year’s election.

“We can’t allow those managing our country (APC) to continue because if we allow the APC government to continue, the country will fail as the country is already failing,” Obaseki maintained.

“God sees how people are suffering in this country and will not allow them to manage Nigeria again.”

“This 2023 election is about the continuous existence of Nigeria. If we don’t change the current leadership, I don’t know what will happen to this country. For us the PDP, we are the real only organic party. We are the only ones prepared for a free and fair election and our candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, is the most experienced,” he stated.

Edo Govt Declares 24-Hour Curfew In Obazagbon, Oghehe Areas

A file photo of Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki.

 

The Edo State Government has declared a 24-hour curfew in the Obazagbon to Ogheghe axis of the Irhirhi-Arogba-Obazagbon-Ogheghe Road for 24 hours, starting from 12.00am Thursday, September 29 to 12am Friday, September 30, 2022.

In a statement signed by the Secretary to the State Government, Osarodion Ogie Esq., the government said the curfew is to make way for a security exercise in the affected areas.

“This is to notify the general public that the Edo State Government has declared a curfew in the Obazagbon to Ogheghe axis of the Irhirhi-Arogba-Obazagbon-Ogheghe Road for 24 hours, starting from 12.00am Thursday, September 29, 2022 to 12am Friday, September 30, 2022.


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“Government is conducting a security operation in the area and warns members of the communities to steer clear of the Obazagbon to Ogheghe axis of the road, so as not to endanger themselves.

“Residents in the area are advised to stay indoors as the government embarks on the security exercise,” the statement partly read.

Mr Ogie further stated that the affected areas are from Obazagbon Junction to Ogheghe Junction on the Irhirhi-Arogba-Obazagbon-Ogheghe Road and environs; from Ogheghe Junction on the Irhirhi Road up to Ogba River and environs; road connecting Okoroma Junction on the Irhirhi Road to Amagba and environs and from Amagba Junction to Ogba River on the Ogheghe – Obagie Road (link to Sapele Road) and environs.

He added that motorists and pedestrians are advised to use alternative routes. Anyone found loitering in the area during the curfew will be arrested.

EFCC Arrests Seven For Suspected Internet Fraud In Benin

 

Operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in Benin on Friday September 9, 2022 arrested seven suspected internet fraudsters in Benin City, Edo State.

The suspects were arrested at their hideouts, following actionable intelligence about their alleged involvement in internet- related fraud.

They include; Akele Aisosa, Idemudia Lawson Osarodion, Daniel Chidube Emeka and Ekoh Godswill.

Others are Junior Osagie, Idemudia Destiny Eghosa and Osaigbovo Lawrence.

Items recovered at the point of arrest include: three Mercedes Benz GLK 350; one Lexus RX 350; one Mercedes Benz C400 AMG and different brands of phone.


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In a similar vein, Benin Zonal Command of the EFCC, on Wednesday, September 7, 2022 arrested 11 suspected internet fraudsters.

They were arrested at their various hideouts in Benin City, Edo State, following actionable intelligence worked upon by the Commission.

The suspects are: Okon Destiny, Efe Edomwonyi, Tony Osarobo, Moses Osazee, Ojo Festus, Christian Odiase and Bright Obaro. Others are Precious Aghedo, Harmony Enobakhare, Oluwafemi Adigun and Gift Inedegbor.

Items recovered from them at the point of arrest include various brands of mobile phones, laptops and four vehicles.

Authorities within the anti-graft agency say the suspects will be arraigned in court soon.



Meanwhile, Justices Adebayo Yusuf of the Kwara State High Court, Ilorin and Muhammed Sani of the Federal High Court sitting in Ilorin have convicted two siblings – Shekoni Kayode Taofeek and Shekoni Habeeb Damilare, alongside Adegbe Thankgod.

They were sentenced for offences bordering on cybercrime and retention of proceeds of unlawful activities.

They were convicted on Thursday, September 8, 2022 after pleading guilty to two count-charges bordering on retention of proceeds of unlawful activities, based on their arraignment by the Ilorin Zonal Command of the EFCC.

While Taofeek and Damilare were convicted by Justice Yusuf, Thankgod was jailed by Justice Sani.

Insecurity: Abductors Of Ondo Travellers Demand N90m Ransom

A graphical illustration of gunmen.

 

The abductors of travellers at Omi-Alafa village, along Owo-Ifon road, in Ose Local Government Area of Ondo State have demanded N90 million ransom from the families of the victims.

The victims were abducted on Saturday while they were returning from a burial ceremony in Edo State.

Commissioner for Information and Orientation in Ondo State, Mrs Bamidele Ademola- Olateju disclosed this in Akure on Monday while briefing newsmen on the abduction.

She informed that 18 out of the passengers in the bus were abducted, while nine have regained their freedom.


READ ALSO: Gunmen Abduct 32 Travellers In Ondo


“They went for a burial at Ewatota, in Esan local government area of Edo state, one of the buses, a 32 seater coastal bus hired from Rufus Giwa Polytechnic, Owo was attacked by suspected kidnappers. The vehicle was ransacked, the people were sarch and dispossessed of their valuables.

“They selected 18 out of the passengers and matched them into the bush. Some of those that were left behind immediately put a call to Amotekun corps which they swung into action.

“Among those who were taken into the bush, Amotekun found seven of them. Out of the remaining eleven, two of them escaped and only nine people are still in captivity.

“Right now as I speak, Amotekun is working with the police, the DSS, and the Nigerian Army to ensure their release,” the commissioner disclosed.

Adding, “Today, the kidnappers have made contact with families of victims and they are demanding ransom of between N3 – N10 million. Investigation of this abduction continues but it’s important to note and commend the gallant men of Amotekun in getting to the scene and rescuing victims.”

According to her, the kidnappers found it easy because the scene borders Edo state, so they strike and run back to Edo because they know Ondo is no longer a haven for criminals.

Mummified Bodies: Edo State Govt To Conduct Mass Burial 

A map of Edo, a state in the southern region of Nigeria.

 

The Edo State Government has scheduled mass burial for the corpses found at an alleged illegal mortuary located off Ekehuan Road in Benin City, as well as those at the former mortuary at the defunct Asuen Hospital, First East Circular Road, Benin City.

In a statement, the Edo State Commissioner for Health, Prof. Obehi Akoria, called on the public who have corpses at these locations to provide the required evidence to claim such corpse(s) for burial.

“The general public is hereby notified that the corpses which were found at an illegal mortuary located off Ekehuan Road in Benin City have been scheduled for mass burial. Similarly, corpses at the former mortuary at the defunct Asuen Hospital, First East Circular Road, Benin City, have been scheduled for mass burial,” she said.

“Members of the public who may have corpses at these locations are hereby invited to provide the required evidence to claim such corpse(s) for burial.”

READ ALSO: Police Arrest 30 Suspected Cultists In Edo

The Commissioner added, “The Government of Edo State is hereby giving a moratorium of 21 days beginning from the date of publication of this announcement for the corpses to be duly claimed for burial.

“For further clarification, please contact the Director of Regulation and Monitoring at the Ministry of Health – 3rd Floor, Block D, New Secretariat Building, Sapele Road, Benin City.”

Earlier, the state government directed all private hospital owners who run mortuaries, owners, and operators of standalone mortuaries, and owners and operators of embalmment homes in the state to present their registration documents to the Edo State Ministry of Health before the closing of business on Friday, September 30, 2022.

In a statement, the Commissioner said, “Owners/operators of mortuaries or embalmment homes who are not duly registered with the Ministry of Health are advised to obtain the requirements for registration from the Ministry of Health before the closing of business on Friday, September 9, 2022.

“Owners/operators of mortuaries and embalmment homes are further informed that every corpse must be duly certified as dead by a competent medical officer before being received into a private mortuary. Any corpse that has not been so certified should be taken to a government-owned mortuary.”

Police Arrest 30 Suspected Cultists In Edo

Edo State is a state in Southern Nigeria.
Edo State is a state in Southern Nigeria.

 

The Edo State Police Command has conducted raids and arrested 30 suspected cultists believed to be associated with inter-cult rival killings in some parts of the state in the last few days.

The Command’s deputy Public Relations Officer, Jennifer Iwegbu in a statement disclosed that following the receipt of credible information that cult activities were ongoing along Oho street, Uselu, Benin city, on Thursday, operatives of the command immediately mobilized to the scene.

She added that on arrival at the scene, the operatives of the command found the body of a young man later identified as one Taiwo Edigie, 40, with the head severed and dropped at a different location from where the body was placed.

According to the statement, a similar report was received on the same day that along Imuetiyan street off Ojo road, Ugbowo, a yet to be identified young man was killed also in connection to the ongoing cult fight.

Intense raiding was subsequently carried out around the axis the of the incident occurred and the 30 suspects were arrested.

Profiling is said to be ongoing and anyone found culpable or related to any of the cult rivalry killings would be arraigned in court upon its conclusion.

The Commissioner of Police, CP Abutu Yaro, while commiserating with the bereaved families, has assured members of the public of the Command’s unrelenting efforts to ensuring that there is no hiding place for criminals.

The CP specifically warned members of Eiye group and Aye Cult groups to renege on their violent rivalry that has resulted in avoidable deaths of their members or be ready for more arrest and prosecution in the days ahead

Police Rescue 1 Kidnap Victim, Kill 5 Kidnappers In Edo

A file photo of guns retrieved from bandits used to illustrate the story

 

The Edo State Police authorities say the Command on Sunday rescued one kidnap victim and neutralized five (5) suspected kidnappers recovering arms and ammunition from the engagement.

The command in a statement issued through its Deputy Public Relations Officer, Jennifer Iwegbu disclosed that it received credible information it about hoodlums suspected to be kidnappers operating in Ughoshi- Afe bush, Ibillo in Akoko Edo LGA.

According to the police spokesperson, on receipt of the information the command immediately mobilized its tactical team operatives from the Ibillo sector and in collaboration with vigilantes and hunters moved to the scene.


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The suspected kidnappers on sighting the operatives reportedly opened fire on them which led to a gun duel that left five (5) of the kidnappers fatally injured.

One kidnap victim, a 38-year-old man with the first name, Innocent is said to have m rescued unhurt and has since been re-united with his family.

Items recovered at the scene include; two locally made pistols, some fetish items and cartridges.

The Commissioner of Police, Edo State Command, CP Abutu Yaro, who commended the operatives for the gallantry exhibited, assured members of the public that the command will continue to work with relevant stakeholders and law-abiding citizens to ensure a safe Edo State now and always.

Police Kill Two Armed Robbery Suspects, Injure Other Gang Members In Edo

Edo State is a state in Southern Nigeria.
Edo State is a state in Southern Nigeria.

 

The Edo State Police Command says it has killed two armed robbery suspects during a gun duel in Benin City on Sunday.

According to the command, it received information early on Sunday morning that a gang of armed robbers had invaded a filling station off Murtala Mohamed way, Benin City upon which the commander, Crack Team immediately mobilised a team of police operatives and vigilante to the scene.

The armed robbers were later successfully trailed to a different location where they were allegedly carrying out another armed robbery operation. On sighting the team of security operatives, the robbers were said to have opened fire on them which led to a gun duel.

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In the process, the superior fire power of the security operatives hit two of the armed robbers while others escaped with various degrees of bullet injuries.

The two suspected armed robbers were reportedly taken to the Police Cottage hospital in Benin city where they were confirmed dead by the doctor and their bodies deposited at the mortuary.

Items recovered from them include; one locally made pistol and three live cartridges.

The Commissioner of Police Edo State Command CP Abutu Yaro fdc, therefore, directed that more effort be put into securing the arrest and prosecution of other fleeing members of the gang.

Police Arrest Female Medical Doctor For Child Abuse In Edo

Edo State is a state in Southern Nigeria.
Edo State is a state in Southern Nigeria.

 

A medical doctor, one Dr Ogbonnanya Chiamaka of Irrua Teaching Specialist Hospital in Esan Central local government area of Edo state has been arrested for child abuse, the police said on Saturday.

“The victim, one Miss Comfort Nmeson “F” who is 13 years old came to school , ‘Emando Secondary school’ in Ekpoma on 22/6/2022 with her belongings, looking frail,” a statement signed by police spokesperson Jennifer Iwegbu, said.

“Upon interrogation by the teachers of the school, the child said she does not want to live with her guardian anymore and requested to be returned to her biological mother as her guardian has been physically abusing her using stick to reprimand her all the time.

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“Consequently, the teacher reported the abuse to the appropriate authorities for necessary action.

“The said guardian, one Dr Ogbonnaya Chiamaka “F” who is 41-years-old was arrested by the police .

“Dr Ogbonnaya Chiamaka would be arraigned in court after the completion of investigation.

“Meanwhile, the Commissioner of police CP Abutu Yaro fdc has reinstated his commitment in serving the good people of Edo state as he urged the citizenry not to relent in availing the command with prompt and useful information that will help curb the menace of criminal elements in Edo state.”

ASUU Strike: University Students Protest For Second Day In Benin-City

 

University students took to the streets for the second straight day on Thursday in protest against the strike embarked by the Academic Staff Union of Universities.

Tagging themselves ‘The University of Streets’, the protesters walked along the Ugbowo-Lagos expressway in Benin-City.

The walk was expected to terminate at the Ring-Road area of the city.

Other students and concerned Nigerians were scheduled to join the students in protest at Ring Road.

READ ALSO: Abia Declares Public Holiday For Voter Registration

On Wednesday, the students had taken their protest to the King Square area of the city, demanding an end to the strike.

University students protested against the ASUU strike in Benin-city on May 5, 2022.
University students protested against the ASUU strike in Benin-city on May 5, 2022.

 

They said they are tired of staying at home, cut off from their academic pursuits.

While they appealed to the relevant authorities to look into the issues that led to the strike for a resolution to be reached, the students lamented watching their dream of graduating suffer stagnation.

ASUU’s demands

ASUU embarked on a four-week warning strike on February 14.

On March 14, the union extended the industrial action by another two months to allow the government meet all of its demands.

The academics are seeking improved welfare, revitalisation of public universities and academic autonomy among other demands.

One bone of contention for the academics is the non-payment of university revitalisation funds, which amounts to about N1.1 trillion.

But the Federal Government has said it doesn’t have the money to pay such an amount, citing low oil prices during the Muhammadu Buhari administration.

The agreement was reportedly struck in 2009.

Another is the issue of the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS).

The academics have proposed an alternative payroll system, the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS).